Your Name Will Be Igider!
There is much to say about the short holiday we had. Probably the one thing that will stay with me for a long while, wrapped in all sorts of contradicting garments, will be the visit to Chefchaouen, Morocco.
A few words about it
Chefchaouen is the blue city, south of Tangier – the story of its blueness does not satisfy me one bit (something about either mosquitoes or Jewish people), that is why I will come back to it in a future post, because I made up my own legend about why all the streets are different shades of blue. And no, not in a sad way.
Some other words about it
Chefchaouen – Morocco, in general – is poor by Western standards, but is rather rich when it comes to other things, the kind of things you cannot really utter or see, but just feel. I will come back to this in a second.
Uuuu, heaven is a place on earth
I cannot remember why and where I got a fascination for generous silver jewelry. Maybe if I go back in my past long enough, I will discover some benevolent figure who used to wear those. Chefchaouen is a sort of heaven on earth when it comes to tribal jewelry. Berbers come here to commercialize all kinds of adornments their tribes make in Sahara desert. It felt like mother ship was calling me.
Resisting that many cool necklaces, earrings, bracelets and god knows what else took lot of strength. Maybe this is the reason why I felt weak and a bit high all the time I was there. Either that or the heat. Or the blue.
Everything was good and I was just f-i-n-e until I met this one guy and his shop. Like all other Moroccans, he too pulled us from the hot streets in his little shop, crammed with metal lamps and plates, intricate jewelry, design items, bags, etc. Like all other times I was interested, but kept my guard up, trying on necklaces, without any real intention to buy. You see, to me it was more a matter of pride not to succumb to the irresistible charm of Berber manufacturing and style. Cannot really explain this any differently, than some sort of weakness – once I’d let my guard down, I would be conquered by the desire to own it a-l-l. And that, my friend, would be financially impossible.
This ONE guy
Going back to the ONE guy – who ruled them all. I will name him Igider. In reality I do not now how his buddies call him from behind his camel in the desert. But Igider means “eagle” in Berber.
Igider owns the shop where I bought a wonderful silver, lapis lazuli and coral necklace. Igider broke my shield, blew away my guard, wiped out my impenetrable resistance to buy jewelry.
I will probably never find out why. He was… his presence dominated all other five of us in that tiny room where light barely found its way in. It wasn’t for his hypnotizing blue outfit, complimented by a yellow shawl, or for his soft, yet manly voice or his carefully trimmed beard. No. It was for his eyes. Lightly highlighted with black, in what I am assuming to be a Berber manner, his eyes told stories: fought battles, caressed lovers, built houses, seen wonders of birth and death, nurtured lives.
In the end I was selfish and, against my principle I couldn’t, just couldn’t, not have my picture taken with him. And it doesn’t do him justice, some snapshot taken on the spur of the moment.
It doesn’t capture the wishes he whispered to me while putting on the necklace: “May all the bad things end and let this ring be the start of new good ones.”
It doesn’t capture the boney and overworked, yet warm hand I shook, after I paid. It doesn’t capture my heart being whisked away in that tiny shop, in that blue city, in that hot land, by that irresistible magic man.
PS – In the spirit of justice, no alteration to the original picture has been made. Otherwise I would have removed my cheery face from there.